Andy Lee's first hand insight on Klitschko's biggest weaknesses

He also talked about sparring with Anthony Joshua's opponent

Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua, boxing,

In this Jan. 31, 2017, file photo, IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, left, and former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko pose for photos during a news conference at New York's Madison Square Garden. This week, British Olympic gold medalist Joshua meets Klitschko in a title fight that figures to put a charge into a division that has been neglected for far too long. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

On Saturday, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko will go toe to toe in a heavyweight contest at Wembley Stadium.

Victory for the British boxer will signal his ascent to the pinnacle after the unification bout, while the Ukrainian will hope to bounce back from his 2015 title fight defeat to Tyson Fury.

Former WBO Middleweight champion Andy Lee has some interesting thoughts on the fight to come and fighters involved and shared them with Off The Ball.

He is impressed with Joshua from his knockout strewn career thus far.  

"Every time he steps through the ropes, he wins by knockout. So far he's had a meteoric rise, won the world title but this will be his first test and if he wins on Saturday, then you can really crown him as the heavyweight king," said the Limerick man.

But Lee had some very interesting things to say about Klitschko.

Antony Joshua and Wladimir Klitscho promote their Wembley bout

"Wladimir is a really, really nice person, a gentleman, very professional, very business-like when he comes to training camp," he said.

But he feels the Ukrainian's biggest weakness is his coach Johnathan Banks.

"When I turned pro, we fought on the same card. We shared a few fight cards and would have trained together a lot," he said of Banks.

"To me, that's Wladimir's biggest weak point. It's his weak points in his fights. It's his biggest weakness going into what will be the biggest fight of his life. This one coming back after a defeat, he needs a strong coach now more than ever." 

"Johnathan, I would call him a friend and I don't want to be too critical of him, but I see him as a guy who Wladimir would direct more than he would direct Wladimir."

Klitschko had been trained by late legendary boxing coach Emanuel Steward, who also trained Lee for a time.

"I don't think anyone could fill Emanuel's boots. It was always going to be a loss," said Lee, adding that at the moment there are "too many yes men" in the Klitschko camp. 

He also shared his experience of sparring with Klitschko.

"I've sparred Wladimir countless times. And he'd be only working with speed, so he wouldn't be punching with full force but mostly just speed work and the one I thing I used to do with Wladimir would be to feint, just feint. Even the whiff I was going to punch him, he'd step back. He's twice the size of me but even the slightest intention that I was going to punch he'd step back, because he's safety first."   

Lee also spoke to Tyson Fury after the latter beat Klitschko in their title fight and the British boxer reported the same approach, telling Lee, "I just feinted him. All I did was feint him all night".

That being said, Lee did feel the effects from a Klitschko punch.

"One time he hit me with a punch and it wasn't until I went home after the session, lay down in bed, turned my head to the left and the room started spinning. Whatever way he hit me in the ear, it just threw off my equilibrium for three or four days - and I had to fight the following Saturday on his undercard."